Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:47:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Define "hip shot", please.
R R Neuswanger wrote:
> For instance, some (definitely not all) of you
> seem to be using them for a shot that you would expect
> to burst that big artery in the thigh, whether or not it
> succeeded in breaking the long bone. Others seem to mean
> specifically a shot into the hip *joint* (comparable to
> what some call a shoulder shot), not just into any part
> of the hip. And some seem to be taking it as a euphemism
> for what might perhaps better be termed a gut shot from
> directly behind.
> I suggest we start defining our terms;
I would define it as any shot which is intended to hit the animal aft of
the center of its spine. The intent would be (presumably) to "anchor" it
by breaking the hip joint, but a few inches low, and you'd break a leg; a
few inches to one side and you'd gut shoot it. I would go so far as to
consider any shot taken that was deliberately intended to hit the animal
caudal to the diaphragm as unsporting, needlessly cruel, and probably one
that would result in a lost cripple.
OK, let's THINK about this for a minute; I will give the perspective of a
professional animal anatomist, as well as a hunter, and you guys see if
it makes sense to you.
Leaving aside the morally indefensible position of **deliberately**
attempting to wound something and not kill it outright, let's consider
the practical aspects. First of all, let's say you succeed in smashing
both hip joints into bone fragments. Quite aside from the "ruined" meat
this would cause from the average high-speed rifle bullet, the pelvic
region of the animal contains a significant portion of its gut; the
bladder; and parts of the reporductive apparatus. I can't think of a
more efficent and faster way to spread feces and gut contents all over
the place than to put a .30-caliber bullet in there, with its attendant
destruction; and throw in a few hundred razor-sharp pieces of bone for
good measure. You are going to shred and perforate everything in the
vicinity. In fact, there is so much of the digestive tract back there
that it can legitimately be argued that a deliberate "hip shot" is at
least as much a "gut shot" as actually putting one in the belly.
Let's forget about that for a minute and think about the situation in
which both hips are broken but the deer still has use of its front legs.
Is he going to be "anchored"? Not likely; he will manage to pull himself
along reasonably fast with his forelegs, and though he can't jump, he
will surely be able to get away into brush, where he might easily be
This summer I was called to a friend's house to dispatch a doe who'd been
hit by a car and was in his front yard. After we killed her and
eviscerated her, I looked over the damage. Sure enough, she had a broken
hip; and two broken hind legs. The pelvis was broken into at least three
large pieces and you could hear the ends of the bone grating on each
other. That deer was going to die, no question about it, whether I eased
her out or not. But it would have taken her a damned sight longer, and
had she managed to get into the bushes at the edge of his property, where
she was headed, she'd have died maybe a day later. As it was she had
managed to drag herself 100 yards or so from the place where she was hit.
A few years back, the same friend had called me out for a cripple in
EXACTLY the same spot; but this one had managed to get away from a deputy
sheriff and was in the bushes. I never did get that deer; it was able to
move through the bushes faster than I could, despite having lost the use
of its hind legs.
There's a qualitative difference between a hip shot and a shoulder shot.
The difference is that behind the shoulder are structures that are likely
to be damaged that WILL result in a fast "anchoring" of the animal and
that will NOT lead to its death only after hours or days in agony.
Putting a bullet through the shoulder means you are likely to damage
lungs, heart, and major blood vessels, not to mention the important nerve
plexus in the vicinity. A hit that's high will clip the spine; a hit
that's low will be even more likely to hit the heart. To gutshoot a deer
when you're aiming at the front leg requires you be pretty far off the
mark on impact. But a hipshot ALWAYS will be a gut shot as well. How
ANYONE can consider these two situations even remotely similar is beyond
my understanding. The shoulder shot is intended to kill; the hip shot is
intended to immobilize. Neither may accomplish their purpose, but the
first is far more likely to; and it's also almost certainly going to be
fatal within a very short time.
Now for the final word I will have on this subject: after this the thread
can go on without me, I'm nauseated that anyone here is capable of
supporting Courtney's ideas.
This group is for hunters. It's for sport hunters, and I suppose
subsistence hunters, though there are few of those in this country
outside Alaska nowadays. It isn't rec.pest.control, and IMO if someone
is engaging in conduct that reflects badly on HUNTERS, he ought to be
thrown out of the group. It's almost axiomatic to me that ANYONE who
would advocate taking a shot that was KNOWN to be a wounding shot, and
moreover one that was almost guaranteed to waste a great deal of the
carcass through contamination and/or mechanical trauma is no "hunter" and
is simply a sadist with a firearm in his hands and the ability to inflict
pain on animals for his own glee. That's not what this group is supposed
to be about, and in the years I've been a regular poster here, it hasn't
Now we have one poster--more about him in a minute--who advocates
unethical and unsportsmanlike conduct; who uses methods that disgrace and
slander everyone on this group and everyone who **is** an ethical hunter,
and we are tolerating his presence. We even have a few people who have
defended his "philosophy" and argued his case for him. Most disgracefully
of all, we have a Moderator who supports the idea that this sadist is a
"hunter" simply because he kills animals. I doubt if it would be
possible for us to hand over any more ammunition to the PETA lurkers than
to continue to tolerate Courtney's advocacy of woudning shots; and Chris'
agreement with and defense of the indefensible.
Now, on to the Good Doctor: I have been nosing around in Deja News and I
suggest that others do the same. Dr. Courtney may or may not exist; and
he may or may not be the person posting to this group. There is
undoubtedly a Michael Courtney who received a PhD in nuclear physics from
MIT; I read his dissertation abstract. BUT I am beginning to think this
person we think of as "Michael Courtney" is an imposter. His PID does
not show up as valid on the MIT roster; in the numerous groups he posts
to (we are only one of 15 or 20; if he's as active in USENET as Deja News
indicates, he isn't spending much time managing that farm) he uses
several different ID's/aliases; all my attempts to e-mail him directly
have bounced back as "user unknown," and I understand others have the
same problem. I believe he is a troll. I think we have been duped. I
know from personal experience that it's possible to "steal" someone's PID
and use it fraudulently (it has happened to me) and I'd be willing to
make a wager that a) there really is a Dr. Michael Courtney; and b) the
Deer's Dr. Kevorkian **we** know as "Michael Courtney, PhD" isn't him.
Chris: once more, and for the last time...filter him out. Your stance in
his defense is not only untenable, it's beyond my understanding. He has
no place in this group, and the clear consensus from the posts this
thread has generated is that the group agrees with my position on that
point. If you are unwilling to filter him, and if you continue to accept
his arguments that what he is doing is "hunting," then you are every bit
as much of an unethical slob as he is. You ought to resign from the
Moderator's position and turn it over to Alex or John, for the good of
the group. Letting this guy continue to post demeans everyone here,
yourself included. Get him out or get out yourself. Maybe both.